Dec 12, 2013

The Grinch is in Ashfield this Christmas

The Coalition Government is leaving Ashfield Council and community organisations in the lurch over Christmas, refusing to confirm which previously announced government grants will fall victim to Tony Abbott’s axe.

On the chopping block are $119,055 for Ashfield Town Hall, which was promised through the Regional Development Australia Fund, and a $500,000 grant for Centenary Park from the Liveable Communities Program.

Both grants, which had been fully budgeted for by the previous Labor Government, were set to deliver vital upgrades to the facilities and generate jobs.

They were welcomed unanimously by local community and sporting groups as well as Ashfield Council.

The Ashfield Cricket Club and the Canterbury & District Soccer Football Association are two community groups that will be hit hard by the Coalition’s disregard and abandonment of necessary local facilities.

Community organisations that were looking forward to much needed upgrades are now disappointed to see Liberal MPs running away from commitments.

Fiona Ledden, the Secretary of Ashfield Cricket Club, and Ian Holmes, President of Canterbury & District Soccer Football Association, say this uncertainty is the last thing the people of Ashfield need during the holiday season.

Now community groups and Ashfield Council are united in wanting to know why Tony Abbott and Craig Laundy are walking away from the thousands of inner west families that use Centenary Park.

Improving community facilities should not be a partisan issue and it is disappointing that this is the way the Abbott Government wants to treat communities over Christmas.

Labor recognises the importance of community infrastructure and calls on the Coalition to deliver on these much needed facilities, or else be the Grinch this Christmas.

These Government grants are designed to improve community facilities and inject money into local communities, creating economic activity and jobs.